Intention (Parts 1 and 2)

Is it possible to be so present the world stops and waits?

This post originally appeared in two parts on the original ThatThinkYouDo blog, resurrected to the new ThatThinkYouDo, and then the ExpandedAwareness blog. I’m reposting it here as a single entry for a friend.


Part 1
I’ve been studying people who are “living with intention” for about thirty-five years now. Originally I found them due to my cultural anthropology studies. Now I’m finding a few of them in the modern world.

“Living with intention?” you ask. “What does that mean, exactly?”

Hmm…the simple answer is “Living with Intention means paying attention to everything you do” and that’s so weak, so minimal, that only a western trained mind would offer it, so I apologize.

It means being in the moment…while appreciating (not quite, not exactly. English is limited in its ability to express this concept. Or I am limited in my ability to express this concept)…feeling?…every moment that came before you and will come after you.

It means doing whatever you’re doing as if it the fate of the universe hung in the balance…while being able to laugh at yourself regardless of the outcome.

It means focusing all your attention on each individual task…while being aware of everything else that’s going on around you (and recognizing that “around you” can be very, very big).

Realize “now” can be very, very big.

 
It means taking complete and ultimate joy in everything you do…while understanding it may be the last thing that you do.

It means being aware of everything going on around, in and through you each and every moment…and being at peace with it — not necessarily enjoying it or hating it, just being at peace with it, accepting it (because there’s a difference between liking something and accepting something).

And this list gets longer and longer and longer the more I attempt to put into words what can only happen deep inside the individual (because part of intention is being able to keep two completely opposite thoughts in your mind simultaneously, penecontemporaneously).

As one of my teachers said to me, “I can help you find your door. Only you can open your door and walk through. But walking through, there’s no walking back.”

Brushing your teeth. Pay attention to what you’re doing. To how you’re doing it. Be aware of the feel of the brush in your hand and the bristles on your teeth and the taste of the toothpaste and the brush’s movement on your gums and … and be so aware of the fact that you’re doing all this that it becomes a game to you, something to delight in, something to rejoice in, something to be thankful for, to be prayerful about.

But those last words imply something religious and nothing about being intentful is religious. Sufis live with intent but sufism isn’t religious in philosophy, only as it is practiced by some.

Some will read this and think, “Oh, Zen,” and while lots of zen practitioners live with intent the former doesn’t imply the latter. Some will think “Oh, Yin Yang” and to think that demonstrates not knowing, a lack of understanding.
Continue reading “Intention (Parts 1 and 2)”

Help Me Celebrate – The Augmented Man Is Available for PreOrder from Black Rose Writing

They all laughed when I said I wanted to be an author, but then when I sat down and wrote a sentence…

A few years back I switched careers and set out to be a published author.

Today (3 June 2019) my goal is reached; Black Rose Writing is publishing my first novel, The Augmented Man (many more novels to follow).

The Augmented Man Bookcover

 
I would like you to help me celebrate and am offering three suggestions:

  1. Preorder a signed copy from me
  2. Preorder a copy directly from Black Rose (use promo code PREORDER2019 for a 15% discount)
  3. Donate something to a charity.

Susan and I celebrated with donations to Catie’s Closet and the Manchester Animal Shelter.

So please help me celebrate however your heart leads, and thanks.

Thanks to the folks who’ve already congratulated me in phone calls, emails and online.

Empty Sky Chapter 1 – The Cabin

Sometimes we find our friends in the dark

(been doing some rewriting that I will explain in future posts. for now, this is the new opening.
Also edited the previous posts/chapters for those following along. Enjoy. Or let me know if you’re not and why.)

Jamie, delicate and flaxen-haired, felt Shem’s tail thumping the blanket. The big golden sat on their bed staring out the cabin window, his coat glistening in the moonlight.

Jamie whispered, “What is it, boy?” He looked past his dog to the oak, elm, pine, and ash of the Upper Peninsula Michigan forest. The Moon, full and bright, illuminated the trees and the small, one-room cabin at their center.

Shem scratched at the door to go out.

“Do you have to pee?”

Shem whined softly.

“Shh.” Jamie glanced at his parents, Ellie and Tom, asleep on the other side of the cabin. You want to wake mom and dad?” He crawled out from under the covers and tip-toed to the door where he stood on a chair, drew back the bolt, and lifted the latch.

Cool winds rustled treetops, turning them into brooms sweeping low-hung clouds from late September skies. Dust devils spun up mists where night air met day-warmed rocks. Owls and loons, peepers and crickets, hooted and chirped. Trees bowed to the rising Moon.

Shem walked into the night. Jamie followed.

The Moon continued her ascent. The woods fell silent.

Silent.

Ellie sat up in bed, her hands clenching the blanket, holding it tight against her. A cold, dank wind swirled through the cabin, lifting things slightly, inspecting them, putting them down, drawing a musk of old earths in its wake.

Moonlight entered the cabin’s single room.

Her eyes fixed on Jamie’s empty bed.

“Jamie! Shem!”

Tom rose and put his boots on in one motion. “Where are they?”

Ellie pointed at the open door.

Tom threw her coat to her. “They must be together. Shem won’t let Jamie out of his sight.”

“Something’s got them. Some wild animal.”

“Calm down, Ellie. There’s no blood anywhere. Shem’d raise hell if something got in the cabin or near Jamie.” He grabbed an iron poker from the woodstove.

Ellie stopped at the door, a silhouette against the night. “Shh.”

“What the…”

“Shh!”

Tom whispered, “What are they doing?”

“It looks like they’re playing.”

“With whom?”

Jamie and Shem romped in a grassy clearing twenty feet from the cabin. Moonlight cast long shadows everywhere as they danced about, the sole performers under a celestial spotlight.

Tom looked to the rutted dirt road that served as the camp’s driveway. No cars but theirs. He scanned the shadows.

Ellie whispered, “Can you hear that?”

“He’s laughing?”

Jamie danced in circles, laughing as if being tickled, his arms up as if waiting to be lifted, little hands grasping, little fingers curling.

“Shem’s bowing.”

“Isn’t that dog for ‘Let’s play’, bowing? He’s not facing Jamie. Who’s he playing with?”

Beside Jamie, Shem, bigger than Jamie and the boy’s perfect playmate, jumped up and bowed and ran around as if someone was throwing his Frisbee to him.

The Moon cleared the trees, lighting the clearing from above. Jamie’s and Shem’s shadows crept underneath them. The wind stilled.

Ellie grabbed Tom’s arm. “Do you see that?”

Other shadows entered the clearing, some Jamie’s size, some slightly larger. Shadows with nothing to cast them. Shadows where there shouldn’t be shadows. Shadows standing upright, not cast on the ground.

Jamie danced with them and they danced around Jamie. Shem ran among them, played tag with them. Jamie laughed. Shem barked.

Not a warning, not an alarm.

Recognition.

Something twinkled in the shadows, prisms breaking the intense moonlight into bright rainbows.

On the edge of the clearing, in the dark where the trees stood in ancient vigil, eyes gathered in the moonlight.

Ellie woke, the covers clenched in her hands.

She looked across the cabin. Jamie and Shem, sleeping together as always, in their bed.

She let out a breath. She shook her head. It was a dream. The full moon’s light came in through a cabin window. It must have disturbed her, wakened her, worried her in her sleep.

She rolled over, away from Tom to give him a little more room.

And saw dew-laden toddler-sized footprints and paw prints on the floor.

She sat up as the cabin door closed.

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Hecate and Gracie – BFF

Nothing like a daily meet and greet with someone you know and love

Observe Hecate and Gracie. Hecate’s on the left, Gracie’s on the right. The video below is in two parts with several days in between.

Hecate always comes mid afternoon now and I wrote about the significance of such. What’s interesting is that she’s made friends with a turkey.

A turkey?

They’re not natural enemies in The Wild. They’re not natural friends, either. Raccoons will eat turkey eggs left unattended. They’re opportunistic that way.

But a young adult hen (we’re still in doubt about Gracie’s gender, truth be told. She’s starting to show some male traits. Steroids, we think) and a mother raccoon? Hmm…

They’ll come into the yard separately, see each other and with a few clucks and chortles of greeting, begin dining side-by-side.

Totally different species making it work.

They pity us, I’m sure. All humans are the same species and we can’t make it work.

But I digress…

The other day we noticed some new behaviors. Hecate, shortly after she arrives, sits back and stares into our backroom to get our attention. Failing that, she’ll come up on the porch and walk back and forth. Failing that, she’ll (I’m not kidding) come to the back door and pound on it. Okay, scratch at it. To her, I’m sure she’s pounding.

The new behavior involved Gracie. Not having any fresh seed, she came to one of the windows and stared in, clucking. That failing, she walked back and forth on our porch. Failing that, she…

 
Truth be told, I was so involved in work I didn’t notice her until I saw our cat staring at her.

But it doesn’t end there. Gracie and Hecate both stare at us now. Gracie clucks and fluffs and spreads her wings to get our attention. Hecate incites her, “Do it again. I think it’s working.”

Anyway, Hecate and Gracie. BFF.

 

Charles R. Swindoll’s “Touching Others With Your Words”

An interesting read if you’re an anthropologist studying this segment of modern culture but not worth most writer’s time

First, it fascinates me that my copy is entitled “Touching Others With Your Words/The Art and Practice of Successful Speaking” and the Amazon version is “Saying It Well/Touching Others With Your Words.” Perhaps between my edition and the current one the author learned the importance of concision in crafting titles?

This book is about crafting good sermons. But good sermons are essentially good stories. Does the author provide enough insight into good story-telling and -crafting to make it a worthwhile read?

For my part, not really. Unless you’re evangelical, it takes a lot of reading to find the nuggets worth keeping.

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